The mansion at 190 Bowery Street in Manhattan is one of the most recognizable buildings in New York City because of the graffiti that covers its old walls. Built in 1898 as the Germania Bank, the building looks to be abandoned but has been the home of photographer Jay Maisel and his family since the mid-1960s. According to the New York Times, there have been several attempts over the years to buy Maisel out of the 38,000-square-foot space that he purchased for $102,000, and Aby Rosen, art collector and co-founder of RFR Holdings, has finally succeeded. 

The deal has not been finalized, but the Times reports that Rosen spent six months trying to get the six-story building (which was given landmark status in 2005) from Maisel. Rosen would not reveal the price he offered for the home, but he did reveal that it will be converted for "retailing at the base with condominiums above, or possibly offices or even an art gallery." Of the condition of the building, Rosen said, "The building is in terrible shape. There’s no heat, Jay lives in just a small area of the building, another winter is coming, and it was time."

The sad reality of this sale is that the graffiti is as good as buffed. According to Bowery Boogie, Maisel made attempts in the past to remove the tags and wheatpastes from the wall only to have the city's artists undo his efforts, so he refused to try again. Of the hundreds of pieces on the building, the most iconic is a large "NEKST" piece that will be virtually impossible to save without removing a large chunk of the wall. Better go see it and take photos while you can.

[via New York Times]